Here’s something really unique about this place. You walk out a door upstairs…
…and inexplicably find yourself in a really nice garden.
Nearly invisible from outside the hall is the Blue Ribbon Garden.
This rooftop garden is nearly an acre in size.
Obviously you can’t escape the shadow of the Concert Hall as you’re exploring the garden, but that just helps hammer home how incredibly unique this garden actually is.
When you think about it, we’re pretty much just walking around on the top floor of a parking garage.
This is all artificial, but it’s staged so elaborately we forget that fact. I don’t think they intended this as a statement for what they do at Disneyland, but isn’t that what Disney perfected? Keep in mind that this is NOT a Disney building. It’s named after Walt, paid for with some very generous donations by both Lillian Disney and the Walt Disney Company, but that does not put it in the hands of the Imagineers.
Hidden amongst more traditional plants, the trained eye can also find edible flowers and herbs, planted there for the executive chef of the onsite restaurant Patina. I am not a trained eye, so I didn’t see squat.
We considered maybe going to Patina to eat, but apparently someone just couldn’t be inconvenienced into selling a few – just a few! – of their eggs to pay the bill.
I’m not pointing any fingers. It doesn’t matter, anyways. There’s a Subway like a block and a half down the street and that fancy joint probably can’t top a five dollar foot long.
The centerpiece of the Blue Ribbon Garden is undeniably Frank Gehry’s “gift” to Lillian Disney, a rose-shaped fountain covered in thousands of pieces of Royal Delft porcelain.
It’s entitled “A Rose for Lilly.” I don’t know much about porcelain, but a cursory Google search indicates to me that the covering alone was probably pretty expensive.
One thing that’s really fascinating about their working relationship is the fact that Lillian Disney didn’t really care much for Gehry’s particular style. It’s says a lot that she could separate her personal feelings when it came time to select an architect. She understood that this venue wasn’t going to be for her.
Also located in the garden is the 350 seat W.M. Keck Foundation Children’s Amphitheatre.
It seems so strange seeing an EXIT sign outside.